Cops launch manhunt after woman is murdered, brother thrown out of moving taxi

Mpumalanga police have launched a manhunt for armed men who attacked two job-seeking siblings, killing one of them.

According to Makhosi Zuma, 24-year-old Kwanele Zuma and her brother Ngcebo, 21, were returning from a job interview in Johannesburg on November 25.

The two took a taxi to Witbank, where they decided to hitch a lift to their home in Carolina.

"Ngcebo said a white Toyota Quantum with four male occupants then gave them a lift to Carolina. Along the way, the men produced guns and pointed at mysiblings. The men demanded cash and cellphones.

READ: Sister shot and killed, brother thrown out of moving taxi - police

"Ngcebo was then hit with the gun on his back and thrown out of the moving taxi. Their assailants then drove away with Kwanele. She was later found in Ogies," said Zuma.

She said the incident had left her family distraught and seeking justice.

"Today, my brother is wheelchair-bound. We have also lost Kwanele and she will not come back. We are appealing to anyone with information to assist the police in arresting those suspects," Zuma said.

Kwanele was buried on Saturday at her home in Carolina.

"We are also praying for Ngcebo to heal quickly and are hoping that he will be able to walk again," she said.

Mpumalanga police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said: "Preliminary information suggests that a minibus taxi offered the victims a lift to Carolina. However, the two were surprised when the men who gave them the lift produced firearms and started robbing them of their personal belongings, as well as assaulting them.

"The suspects also took an opposite direction towards Gauteng, rather than the direction to Carolina. According to information at the police's disposal, the siblings were apparently forced out of the minibus in different spots, but not far apart, while it was still in motion. They were, however, spotted by a passerby who immediately summoned for help.

"The two victims were found in a critical stage and medical personnel who attended to them quickly rushed them to hospital for medical treatment. Unfortunately, Kwanele later died on that day in hospital. The pathological services have conducted a post-mortem, which will indicate the cause of death, as well as other violations," Hlathi said.

Police are investigating cases of murder, attempted murder and robbery with aggravated circumstances.

"Mpumalanga provincial commissioner, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma has strongly condemned this heartless incident and indicated that the police are hard at work hunting down the suspects. Zuma has further urged anyone with vital information, to contact the nearest police as soon as possible," Hlathi said.